If you are planning a trip to Belize and want a full vegan experience, you might want to add this place to your list.
Located in the coastal town of Corozal, about 85 miles north of Belize City, Serenity Retreats Belize is a vegan resort and yoga retreat center.
Toronto native Nissrien Barakat, 43, opened Serenity Retreats Belize in early 2018 after selling her home and belongings, leaving the rat race and moving to Belize for a fresh start.
“I wanted to create a space for other vegans to retreat to where they didn’t have to worry about addressing non-vegan issues while on vacation,” Barakat told Vegan World News.
“They could simply enjoy a completely vegan holiday. I also wanted to combine that with a place where non-vegans can have a vegan experience and perhaps assist them in transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.”
Initially started as a vegan yoga retreat center, the resort has since naturally evolved into a place for connecting with one’s higher consciousness.
On the new moon and the full moon, if guests are present, Serenity Retreats Belize holds cacao ceremonies, an inner awakening and creative guidance ritual popular in yoga communities.
“This is a sacred space where people come to reconnect with their higher selves and nature, where they come to self reflect, journal and raise their consciousness,” said Barakat
“There are no barriers here and the energy is intense. So we consider it a sacred space for deep healing and meditation.”
Serenity Retreats Belize has an on-site restaurant, Serenity Grove- A Vegan Bistro, featuring everything from raw meals and juices to standard vegan meals and desserts.
The art studio that’s set to open next month will host activities like dance, Zumba, yoga, and arts & crafts workshops.
The two-acre property, which has more than 200 coconut trees and grows food on-site, also houses a vegan community who live in privately-owned tree houses, complete with loft bedrooms, private kitchens and showers.
Asked about the visitors to the resort, Barakat said non-vegans slightly outnumber vegans.
“I’ve had more non-vegan guests than vegan guests. Not a huge difference, but definitely more non-vegans that are coming for the experience,” she said.
“Most of the comments from guests are extremely inspiring, as they often describe this place as magical and intense.
“Everyone feels the energy when here. Many leave having shed a lot of what no longer serves them and often say they feel like they are starting fresh and with a clearer head space.”
The future plans for Serenity Retreats Belize include launching a shared greenhouse for guests and residents, as well as creating an animal sanctuary.